Great New DropShots Photo Widget!

I just came across a great little utility built by one of our brilliant programmers that I wanted to share with you. I thought this item was especially neat and worthy of blogging about. This little widget allows you to display thumbnails of your most recent DropShots photos anywhere on the internet with just a single line of code. These thumbnails are clickable back to the larger view on your DropShots page. As you add new images to your DropShots site, the thumbnails in your widget will automatically update. Don’t worry, in keeping with DropShots’ montra of making things simple, yet powerful – you can pick up this single line of code and simply past it into your site in less that a minute.

Here’s where to find the code: just click on a thumbnail from the user homepage to get to the day view. Now click on the "Widget" icon below the main image and a dialog window will pop up – see example below. Now just make your selections of vertical/horizontal and number of images – then copy the code where you like. Now whenever you update your DropShots images, your widget images will be updated as well, keeping your site updated – without even trying.

DropShots Photo Widget

Photo Widget Creation

Please keep in mind that you will need to be logged into the account from where the images are to be fetched – or just change the user="user id goes here" in the code. So if it looks like images are being pulled from the wrong account, that’s because that was the account you were "logged into" at the time you grabbed the code snippet.

Message From The President

Dear Valued Customer,

I wanted to give all our valued DropShots users an update and some information regarding the service interruptions our users may have have experienced over the past 36 hours.  First and most importantly, the site is back up and functioning – better than ever.  Now for what happened: the interruptions began when our server hosting facility suddenly lost power.  Immediately following the power failure, our engineers went to work solving any and all problems caused by the loss of power.  While this is an extremely rare occurrence, our engineers were prepared with all of the necessary backup hardware and software to get DropShots back on-line as quickly as possible without any loss of information.

In the wake of an event such as this, we at DropShots will again be reevaluating how to make the site, and most importantly, your information, as safe as possible.  I want to reassure you that everyone at DropShots knows how much you value your images and comments, we all use the service just like you, as do our families and friends.

Several questions were repeated by our users, during this outage that I wanted to address.  The first question was "is DropShots a viable business" – in these tough economic times, that’s a valid question.  The answer is that DropShots is doing very well, even in these tough times.  DropShots experienced a growth rate of 80% in 2008 and we just finished adding 15 new storage servers last week to accommodate continued growth in 2009.  While I expect that many more photo printing and sharing services will close their doors in the coming months and years – DropShots will not.  Our growth will likely be accelerated as other companies cease to exist.  We are now storing and serving over 39 million photos and videos…and growing every day.

The second question frequently asked was "are my photos gone?"  I think everyone knows the answer to that question now that they are all back on-line.  It’s important to know, however, that we take extreme precautions to protect and back up our users’ images.  The bottom line is that our users’ images were not ever at risk of being permanently lost during this past outage.  We’ll work on a better way to communicate this to our users during an outage, should it occur in the future.

I thank you for your continued use of and trust in DropShots, we will continue to take the responsibility of this trust very seriously.

Sincerely,

Brian Pond
President
DropShots.com

Album Organization

Based on your requests, we’ve change the way Albums are organized in the left navigation pane of your DropShots site. In the past, each Album (or folder) stayed in the order in which it was created – with the newest Album at top and the oldest Album at the bottom. Many of you wanted them in a specific order, for example your "favorite pictures" always on top, and this just wasn’t possible – until now.

Now your Albums are in alphanumeric order (numbers first, then a-z). We concluded that this methodology would provide the most flexibility – you can now label your albums so that they can show up in any order. For example; if you want a specific folder to show up at the top of your list you can just give it a name with a number or letter that falls before any of the other names in your list. Here are some ideas to help out with your organization:

Let’s say you wanted everything to continue to be ordered by date, then just put the date in the name like "08-06-15 Zoo Trip." Using this method will result in all of your Albums in chronological order with the oldest at the top and newest below like the example below.

Album Order by Number

Or perhaps you want your "Favorite Picts" folder to always stay on top: you could label it like: "1 – Favorite Picts."

Album Order by Date

I’m sure you get the idea, you now have total control of how your albums are ordered.

Even Sharper Images!

The DropShots software development engineers have outdone themselves again as it relates to making your images look as good as possible on DropShots. I won’t get too technical here – but will say that the DropShots upload software was modified to make your images even brighter, sharper, and more vivid than ever before. The new sharper images take a little more room to store on our servers, but we feel it’s worth it to make everyone’s images look as good as possible. Please take a look at the images below to see the difference (it’s subtle, but we feel significant); the image on top uses the original uploading software and the image below was uploaded with the new uploader.

Your images will be enhanced the same way whether you use the Dropbox or the web uploader.

Original Image

 

New and improved image quality

The DropShots team is always looking for ways to make your images look as good as possible – and we won’t stop here.